DIY no carve Fall/Thanksgiving pumpkin decorating


pumpkins are quintessential October decor! and carving them is really fun however, they only last a little while before they collapse in a mess of rot… so i offer you the No Carve option! in the video above i demo 3 cheap and easy, no carve pumpkin decorating techniques. so you can enjoy your pumpkins a lot longer and still have the fun ritual of honoring the pumpkin as decoration.

No Carve #1: Decoupage

What You Need:

  • pumpkin
  • clip art – you can print this clip-art that i created of spider and bug art – or use whatever images you like!
  • white glue – regular school glue or Modge Podge
  • old paint brush or foam brush
  • scissors

Do It:

  1. mix equal parts glue and water to create your glue mixture.
  2. set aside a separate bowl of water
  3. cut or rip to separate your clip art
  4. soften the paper in the plain water so it’s more flexible and will mold around your pumpkin.
  5. paint the back of your clip art piece with a liberal coat of the glue mixture, place it on your pumpkin and paint over the top with more glue mixture
  6. repeat step 5 until your entire pumpkin is covered
  7. seal with a final coat of less-watered down glue. don’t worry, it will dry clear and the paper will be less transparent when it’s dry too!

No Carve #2: Thumbtacks

What You Need:

  • pumpkin
  • box of metal thumbtacks
  • optional: clip art spider to make it look like a web and fit in with your other pumpkins

Do It:

  1. simply pierce the thumbtacks into your pumpkin in whichever design you fancy. you can always take it out and re-place the tacks!
  2. decoupage the spider clip art in the same way as the above decoupage steps 4, 5 and 7.

No Carve #3: Marker and Silk Flowers

What You Need:

  • pumpkin
  • permanent marker
  • silk flowers – buy them in the garment district, your local craft store, or online here.
  • glue gun

Do It:

  1. draw a face on your pumpkin and fill it in with coats of the marker so it looks nice and dark
  2. glue the silk flowers on your pumpkins cute bald head!

Happy Halloween!


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I did a combination of these two Mr. Kate ideas for a male friend's birthday party.  The thumbtacks were great for a more masculine, metal decor.


What a beautiful display!  The pumpkins are so chic and look like so much fun!  I never thought I would be so excited to buy thumbtacks!  :O) 


Love my new white pumpkin with thumbtacks.  DId mine is gold@mrkate:disqus  looks amazing.  thanks for the idea


so happy! i'd love to see a pic! happy halloween!


Love this...It makes pumpkin decorating with my 3 year old cousin safer...especially since it doesn't involve knives.  We went the glitter route...because we La la laaaave Glitter!


perfect! happy halloween!


Where did you get the really gnarly looking pumpkins/how did you make them look gnarly? They're so cool! Also, I really like the idea of not carving the pumpkin - no waste!


I LOVE the gnarly looking one! I got it at Trader Joes and it came like that! I'm not sure what kind of pumpkin it is but they had them in a big bin with some other kinds…. so if you have a Trader Joes near you I'd check there! Thanks for your comment ; )